Arcane and Divine Occultation

Magic is a force with neither alignment nor affection, that is manipulated by mortals with a combination of will, faith, knowledge, and ritual. While some casters take time at the beginning of each day to refresh these rituals in their memory, others can draw it out of themselves without the use of things such as books and volumes. This, in itself, is not that far diverged from the core mechanics of Pathfinder.

Here, however, a spell cast does not leave a prepared caster’s memory nor draw from a “per day” amount. Instead, a caster’s attempt is represented as a skill check, with success meaning casting, while failure means the player loses a bit of Vigor.

Based on the nature of magic in this setting, characters who are Spell Casters do not have a set list to choose from based on their Class, instead choosing from either Arcane (Sorcerer/Wizard) or Divine (Cleric).

Learning Magic

A Character learns magic by expending Skill Points gained when Leveling Up into them, at a rate of Spell Level +1. Spells learned in this fashion are considered learned/always prepared, though taking an hour at the beginning of the day to refresh one’s magical knowledge, such as with a spell-book, gives the Caster a +2 circumstance bonus to Casting Skill Checks for the remainder of the day.

  • Skill Point Spell Purchase: Spell Level +1 in Skill Points
    • A player decides at Character Creation which Primary Spell List they shall Draw from
    • Characters may have access to other Spell Lists by taking certain Classes, or by use of the Occult Education Feat.
  • Tomes and Scriptures
    • A Spell or Prayer Book allows a caster +2 to Skill Check rolls for a day if studied one hour per day
      • Each Spell added to the Book takes a number of pages equal to the Skill Point Cost
      • Spell or Prayer Books typically have no more than 100 pages, unless the character has bound it themselves
  • Scrolls
    • A Scroll is treated as a “nearly cast” Spell
    • It gives a user a bonus to their Casting Skill Check equal to the Casting Skill of its Creator
  • Maximum Spell Level
    • A Character’s Maximum Spell Level is 1/4 their total Level, rounded down
      • Certain Classes will overwrite this with their own guides, increasing a Character’s connection to magic
      • A Character can cast spells past their Maximum Level (such as by being increased via Metamagic Feats), but they suffer the following effects
        • The Casting DC is Doubled
        • Any Failure by 5 or more is considered a Natural 1
        • Any Vigor or Wound Damage taken by the Caster is doubled

Using Magic

  • Casting Skill: Primary Ability Score Modifier (If Casting Class)
    • Casting DC: 10 + Spell Level (after Metamagic Adjustment)
      • Casting Defensively: Increase Casting DC by Spell Level
  • Casting Failure: The Caster takes Vigor Damage equal to they missed the DC by x the Spell Level
    • Simple Failure will never result in Wound Damage
    • If the character has no Wound points at the start of their action, they are too tired to cast spells
  • Critical Success (Natural 20): The Casting Skill Check, and resulting Spell, do not count against the Caster’s Actions this round
    • They still can Cast another Spell, or may take any other full-round actions
    • A player may take Improved Critical for magic, but must designate the Spell so affected
  • Critical Failure (Natural 1): In addition to the Vigor damage, the Character takes 2x the Spell Level in Wound Damage
    • A player who scores a Critical Failure on a casting may not cast that spell again for the rest of the day
  • Ritual Casting: Characters can take 10 or 20 on a Caster Check (multiplying the Casting Time by 4 or 10, respectively).
    • Characters doing so can perform no other action, or take any Vigor damage during the Casting Time, or the spell is considered an instant Failure
      • The player should roll a Caster Check at this moment to determine the severity of the Failure; this can result in 0 Vigor damage, or a Critical Failure; It cannot result in a success

Arcane and Divine Occultation

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